Frederick Remington

Today, October 4 (1861), is the birthday of Frederic Sackrider Remington, famous painter, illustrator, and sculptor. He specialized in and was the most celebrated depicter of cowboys, American Indians, and the U.S. Cavalry of the last quarter of the 19th Century.  

His father, a colonel in the Civil War, hoped Frederic would go to West Point, but the young man was poor in math and indifferent in his studies. He was sent to military schools, but he was recognized as not soldier material. He did start making sketches and drawings at an early age though. And his interest in art grew. 

At 19 he took a trip out West and that sparked his life-long interest in the West. He tried his hand at ranching but he didn’t care for the work and he missed the finer things out East. He made other trips out West, often as an artist correspondent for magazines. But he also traveled to Mexico and Europe. He covered the Spanish-American War and was a long-time friend of Teddy Roosevelt. He was friends with and collaborated with well-known artists and writers of his time. 

He lived most of the time in New York State. He attended many celebrity banquets and stag parties, and the attendant heavy eating and drinking caused his weight to rise to close to 300 pounds. That excess weight was hard on his health and interfered during an attack of acute appendicitis in 1909. Remington died on December 26 of that year, only 48 years old. 

Put “frederic remington artwork” into Google for a gallery of his art. I am sure you will recognize many of the works. I have prints of several of his paintings in the ranch house. 

Remington did one large-scale sculpture. It is called The Cowboy and stands on a rock in Fairmont Park in Philadelphia. A small-scale replica of the statue, a gift from colleagues, sits on the mantle above my fireplace.